A Restart With Lewis Pugh And Senator Kerry

A Restart With Lewis Pugh And Senator Kerry

Courtesy of Pew Charitable Trusts.

In 2015, United Nations Patron of the Ocean Lewis Pugh did a series of five open water swims in Antarctica called Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason.

His swims were completed in the waters of the Southern Ocean in temperatures between 0ºC and -1.6ºC:

Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason

His goal was to have Antarctica‘s Ross Sea declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA). The Ross Sea is referred to as a Polar Garden of Eden. The swims resulted in a positive outcome of Speedo diplomacy and led to the establishment of the world’s largest Marine Protected Area in October 2016.

The MPA designation was jointly made by the 25 members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and was another milestone in Pugh’s efforts to spur ocean conservation and international cooperation. The designation safeguards an ecosystem that includes critical wildlife habitat for penguins, seals, and killer whales where scientists also study the impacts of climate change.

Pugh played a vital role shuttling between and among the different delegations to get the MPA formally approved. During this process and long negotiations, Pugh worked closely with Senator John Kerry who is now serving as U.S. President Biden’s U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and is part of his presidential cabinet.

After the inauguration, Pugh said, “I just watched President Biden and Senator Kerry announce plans to tackle climate change. It is so exciting. The USA has officially agreed to protect 30% of its land and waters by 2020. This is the action that 2021 needs.

What we know is that we will not start to turn the tide on the climate crisis unless we protect large portions of our seas.

This is the leadership the world needed to see as we move to the all-important United Nations climate negotiations in Glasgow (COP26) in November.”

To follow Pugh, visit lewispugh.com.

Lewis Pugh’s swims in 2015

Copyright © by World Open Water Swimming Association.

Steven Munatones